Njuki Moments

Saturday, November 6, 2010

the bar-code experience

My second calling was as a Social worker, and my duty was to fight poverty, (not mine though) with all I had.  I diligently fought this fight for two and a half years….and you could say I lost the battle! This is because I chose to fight on, not for others like before, but for me. Kind of selfish, if you ask me! It’s at that point in my life that I plunged into the deep sea of business.
My first calling had led me to the Seminary, and into the business of saving souls. In this business, you expect a hefty payment, but not what we earthly souls are used to. The payment will come later, and not here, but I in heaven. I was progressing well...but I left before the deal was sealed. If I had stayed on and ran the race to the end, I would have made my vows, probably of poverty, certainly of humility and chastity.
I would like to refer to my accidental plunge into business, or farming as the other calling. My first product on the market was the yellow-yolk egg, from free range chickens. I had moved quite a lot from door to door, supermarket to shop, and even sold some to my former place of employment.
My experience was pilling high, because either out of superstition or just a bit of psychology, I would never make calls on new clients on Monday. People are so moody and grumpy and don’t easily welcome anything that will take money away from them, even if it will repay if resold.  You could interprete this to mean that I was getting quite an enviable number of rude rejections! I knew my product was rare, then, and it was more expensive (aren’t all rare things expensive?), than the average grey or while yolk egg, but quite noteworthy, not many   had ever sold a local chicken egg on a Supermarket shelf (not in Uganda anyway),or maybe  I just didn’t know!
During these ages, eggs would be sold on paper trays of 30.Quite an open affair. One lucky Saturday, I manage to convince a supermarket manager to stock my eggs. Their first order was impressive, and maybe because I consider Saturdays my lucky days, my stock run off the shelf in two days, hence the second order. Between the call to order and the second delivery, the Supermarket manager had noticed an interesting happening. One client went to the eggs section, picked a few of ‘my’ eggs and mixed with the others and declared all as the ‘others’,i.e the grey yolk-cheaper type.
This prompted the manger to ask me to repackage differently, or else the business relationship was over. Even before a week!!
Within three weeks I had found an alternative, the plastic six egg pack. It was more expensive, but held the eggs nicely against breakage and, well, they looked different….and then the Bar code came in.
I didn’t know what the word meant then, simply because in my previous vocations, we didn’t use bar codes. You don’t code souls!!  My search led me to people who dint know a thing, just like me, to considered computer whiz’s who knew everything about codes but dint know what it had to do with eggs….to useless advice and questions.
By the time I found the Bar-codes, paid in dollars (for someone looking for his second sale),and added a nice green label to my pack,I was in business, so to speak.
I had never quite dreamed of the line where farming and technology meet. Now, when someone talks about technology, I will occupy the front seat. Not because I intent to understand everything, but hey, a little of something is better tat a lot of nothing,…and you never quite know, we may someday pick our manure from the moon.

Copyright: Emmanuel Njuki 2010

1 comment:

  1. Post published in the Daily Monitor 20/1/11